Accident to the AEROS SKYRANGER registered 13LZ on 07/05/2019 at Saint-Antonin-sur-Bayon (Bouches-du-Rhône)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.

The pilot made wide circular out-and-back flights between Sainte-Victoire mountain and the village of Saint-Antonin-sur-Bayon, at an altitude below that of the peak of the mountain. When the microlight was south of the village of Saint‑Antonin‑sur‑Bayon, it suddenly headed towards Sainte-Victoire mountain. The reason for this change of path could not be explained. The pilot reported control problems over the Aix-Les-Milles control tower frequency. It was not possible to determine if this message was sent before or after the path change.
It is possible that the rupture in flight of a strand on one of the rudder cables restricted the rudder control by hampering the passage of a cable at a pulley. The rudder control has a major role in the coordination with the roll axis. As a result, this may have had consequences on the manoeuvrability of the microlight. The video filmed by a witness shows the microlight in straight flight during the last 10 seconds of its flight, with a slow variation in roll to the right, heading straight towards the mountain face with the engine at full throttle.
The investigation was unable to determine why the pilot did not apply a nose-up action to clear the terrain or did not activate the airframe parachute when the control problems he reported occurred.